The Communication and New Media Studies programs merge Alma’s liberal arts emphasis on interdisciplinary study with a subject that is both timeless and timely: human communication.
Communication Major and Minor
The study of communication involves investigation of the way messages and media influence relationships, organizations, communities and cultures. Rigorous interdisciplinary coursework, critical and creative project work and required internships prepare students for graduate study and for professional careers in communication.
Communication majors work closely with COM faculty to choose elective and cognate courses and internship opportunities that best connect the student’s interests and goals to professional contexts of communication work. By mapping an individual learning trajectory within either relational or strategic communication, COM majors pursue coursework and practical experience geared toward specific career paths in public health and healthcare industries, sports and entertainment, advocacy of environmental and social justice issues, human resources, counseling, public relations, political campaigns, organizational consulting and leadership, and a variety of other professions.
Regardless of trajectory, all COM majors take integrative capstone seminars and complete a required internship. Internships may be completed locally, overseas or through domestic programs, including the:
Students are strongly encouraged to work with the COM faculty to create a specific learning trajectory of elective and cognate courses that best fits their personal and career and goals. Several trajectories commonly pursued by COM majors follow below. Students with career interests other than those below create their own trajectories within either the relational or the strategic concentration.
All COM majors complete the following:
- COM 101, 111, 350, 385 (P/F only)* and 450
- One ethics class selected from PHL 126, 225, 227, 228 or 229*
Sports Communication: Students interested in Sports Communication could take a variety of paths through the Communication major, but outlined below are some recommended courses for focused study of communication in the sports industry:
- COM 211, 227, and 8 credits from the following: COM 180 (Sports Communication), COM 192, 202, 302
- Four credits from the following: COM 201 or 220, or NMS 101, 120, 201 or 250
- Eight credits of cognate work selected from BUS 323, 333, 334, 401; IPH 270, 331; ENG 202, 270, 370; PHL 242, MTH 116
- *For COM 385, complete an internship in the sports industry or related field
Health Communication: Students interested in Health Communication could take a variety of paths through the Communication major, but outlined below are some recommended courses for focused study of Communication in health and wellness industries:
- *For the ethics class, complete PHL 229
- COM 211, 227
- Twelve credits from the following: COM 243, 302, 327, 353
- Eight credits of cognate work selected from IPH 214, 220, 223, 224, 331, 430, PHL 229, ENV 105; MTH 116; PSY 220, 231
- *For COM 385, complete an internship in the healthcare industry. (It is strongly recommended that students interested in Health COM complete the Public Health Minor.)
Advocacy Communication: Students interested in Advocacy Communication could take a variety of paths through the communication major, but outlined below are some recommended courses for focused study of Communication in the context of advocacy and social justice:
- *For the ethics class, complete PHL 225 or 228
- COM 201, 220
- Eight credits from the following: COM 227, 243, 253, 353
- Four credits from the following: COM 123, 320
- Eight credits of cognate work selected from: PHL 240; PSY 231,236, 260; REL 210; SOA 141, 220, 234, 241, 325, 353
- *Complete an internship in an advocacy-based organization.
The trajectories listed above are not the only options, but rather examples of paths commonly pursued by COM majors. All COM majors choose a concentration, but not all choose one of these trajectories; many create their own path within their chosen concentration instead.
New Media Studies Major and Minor
New Media Studies is a multidisciplinary program that combines theory and practice in the study of emerging forms of media, digital information and technology.
Through rigorous interdisciplinary coursework, hands-on media experience and required internships, students integrate media history, theory, research and law with applied project work.
New Media Studies prepares students for graduate study and for work in media industries including: graphic design, audio and visual arts, social media, gaming and simulation, e-text and web publication, and instructional technology. Other career fields include education, entertainment, advertising, journalism, promotion, media research and advocacy.